7 Famous Quotes You're Getting Wrong

Okay, let's clear this up...

Renowned American author, Maya Angelou, will be honored with a U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp. The only problem? The quote on the stamp isn't hers. The USPS admitted the "oops," and the original author of the quote, Joan Walk Anglund, understood the confusion. Misquotes are actually pretty common, so here's a few we've all gotten wrong.

01
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"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy"

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Commonly this phrase is attributed to the one and only Benjamin Franklin, but it's inaccurate. According to brewing historian, Bob Skilnik, the original quote was about wine and is far more eloquent: 

"Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy."

Sorry beer fans, Franklin might have been more of a wine guy.

02
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"If something can go wrong, it will."

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You know this as Murphy's Law, which seemingly originated from the aerospace engineer Edward Murphy. However, he wasn't the first to discuss the concept of risk management in these terms—this had been the focus of engineers and mathematicians for years before him. Somehow, this succinct statement of practical pessimism stuck to Murphy more than anyone else in the field.

03
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"Once more unto the breach, dear friends."

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This line is definitely delivered by Henry V from William Shakespeare's Henriad. The big problem is that most people say "into the breach." So let's just fix that going forward... "unto" not "into."

04
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"Let them eat cake"

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Most people are under the impression that Marie Antoinette said this dismissive statement during the French Revolution. However, attributing this quote to her may have been a bit of propaganda by the revolutionaries to make the Queen appear more callous than she was. 

Also, it's worth mentioning that the alleged quote,  "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche," actually translates to "Let them eat [some unspecified foodstuff]." But that's neither here nor there, point is... this wasn't Marie Antoinette's faux-pas.

05
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"I disapprove of what you say..."

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...but will defend to the death your right to say it."

Sure, you sound very smart and politically inclined when you say this, but you're not quoting the legendary philosopher Voltaire. Actually, his biographer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, reworded the quote from "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Both get the point across, but the later was said by Voltaire himself.

06
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"I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet."

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This is from the famous tale of George Washington confessing to his father that he chopped down the cherry tree. The story became an example of his unending honesty, however, there wasn't a cherry tree. The whole scene was fabricated by Mason Weems in the his book The Life of Washington.

07
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"May the force be with you" and more Star Wars quotes

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Sorry Star Wars nerds, the exact quote was said by General Dodonna first, not Obi Wan. Eventually, when the Attack of the Clones was released the Obi Wan character uttered the words that are often attributed to him

Princess Leia's famous line is "I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee," but is often mistaken with "I'd rather kiss a Wookiee."

Lastly, Darth Vader's famous line "Luke, I am your father" is actually "No. I am your father." The rewording allows the quote to stand alone and be more impactful. The fact remains, however, that most people get the most famous quote by the most famous villain wrong. 

For more erroneously awesome misquotes... check this out!